By Sgt. Tanya Polk, 3rd Infantry Division Public AffairsJuly 11, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- In keeping with the efforts to help keep Soldiers safe, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield hosted an installation-wide safety day here, July 2.
Set up in a carnival-type atmosphere, the safety day included hands-on demonstrations and interactive activities that emphasized summer safety. Stewart-Hunter police illustrated how three to four beers can impair an individual as Soldiers unsuccessfully walked a straight line wearing vision impaired goggles or "beer goggles."
The beer goggles are meant to disorient you," said Military Policeman Spc. Michael Roe, Headquarters, U.S. Army Garrison.
Roe said that even though the blood alcohol content in Georgia is .08, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield holds a zero tolerance policy. "Just one beer can end your whole career," he said.
Soldiers also tried their hand at "drunk driving" aboard a go-cart while wearing the 'beer goggles.' Many Soldiers could hardly drive a straight line, let alone maneuver through the pre-placed cones.
"We're just trying to get it to the public that it's not worth drinking and driving," Roe said.
In line with DUI prevention, motor vehicle safety was highly stressed.
At one station Andy Sinquefield, senior trooper for Georgia State Patrol Safety Education, showed Soldiers the deadly affects of a vehicle rollover as two unbuckled dummies in a pick up truck were projected out the windows as the vehicle as it tossed and turned.
Sinquefield tried to alleviate the myths of wearing a seatbelt including the ever-so-famous 'wearing a seatbelt can kill you.'
"I've never seen anybody get killed by a seatbelt in a car crash," Sinquefeld told onlookers. "A seatbelt doesn't kill people; a car crash can kill people."
The trooper also reminded returning Soldiers that just because they made it home from a combat environment doesn't make them invincible and that statistics have proven several Soldiers wrong in the past.
New to Safety Day, the Atlanta Police Department put on a motorcycle demonstration and the Coast Guard based out of Hunter Army Airfield flew in their search and rescue chopper.
Petty Officer Donnie Walker, an aviation survival technician, said that many rescues his crew makes are due to lack of boating safety. Walker advised Soldiers to never drink and drive a boat, just as you should never drink and drive any other vehicle.
Walker also showed troops the proper boating safety equipment to include life jackets, signaling devices, bright flashlights, strobe lights, and very high frequency hand-held radios.
"It's better to have it (the equipment) and not need it then to not have it and need it," Walker said, adding that the equipment will better help the search and rescue team in their saving efforts if a boating accident does occur.
Broken glass covered the floor and seats of a totaled car as the Fort Stewart Fire Department also provided a Jaws of Life demonstration - cutting away the car's door and roof top, simulating what it would take to save persons trapped in a totaled vehicle.
Additionally, Fort Stewart's Special Forces recruiting team provided a class on hand-gun safety, and the Fire department brought along a fire-safety house which teaches people how to get out of their home if they become trapped due to a fire.
For more information on safety, contact the Division Safety Office at 767-9441.